Acupuncture FAQ

Acupuncture faqHow does Acupuncture Work?

There are over 300 acupuncture points found in the body. At each point, there is an opportunity to influence, redirect, increase, or decrease the body’s natural energy to create a state of balance. The natural energy that acupuncture manipulates is called “Qi.” Qi (pronounced chee) is an idea that represents the functional activity of organs and tissues at a cellular level. Qi is everywhere in the body, and it supports our lives in all of its functions. Sometimes it is represented as our “vital force.”

From a more scientific perspective, acupuncture is explained in the following ways:

Firstly, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the immune system to help the body recalibrate in times of stress. Acupuncture can also influence blood pressure, the secretion of gastric acid from the stomach, the heart rhythm, circulation, and an increase in red and white blood cells.

Secondly, it is theorized that acupuncture helps treat pain by blocking its signals to the brain. It is also theorized that acupuncture helps treat pain because it may alter the electromagnetic field of the body, which in turn, decreases pain signals.

Does Acupuncture hurt? What does it feel like?

Acupuncture should feel good. Most people fall asleep during treatment. Normal feelings during acupuncture include pressure, warmth, tingling, dull ache, or soreness. It is not painful, and people often describe the feelings as unfamiliar, but pleasant and relaxing.

How long will it take for me to feel better?

The answer to this question will differ for every person and every case. How long has the problem been going on? How severe is the condition? What other factors are affecting it?

A problem that has been going on for a long time can take longer to heal than one that has only been going on for a week or two. More severe conditions take longer to heal, but you will experience some relief after every treatment, and each treatment builds upon the previous treatment, so relief grows with each session.

Also, lifestyle changes can affect healing duration. Nutrition, exercises/stretching, among other recommendations will be discussed at each session.

How long will my appointment last?

Your initial appointment will last 1.5 hours. Subsequent appointments will last about an hour.

What types of payment is accepted?

Cash, check, or credit card is expected at time of service.

How often will I need a treatment?

The answer to this question will differ for every person and every case. Ideally, acupuncture is received once a week until a condition is stable. Some cases call for treatments twice a week until the condition is normalized. Maintenance treatments are usually called for either once a month, or with the changing of seasons. This will be discussed in the treatment room and discussed after every treatment.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

You will need to call your insurance and ask if acupuncture is covered. More and more, insurance companies are recognizing acupuncture as an effective healing modality. Insurance coverage in the acupuncture field is increasing. We can give you a superbill with all of the necessary codes for you to submit to insurance for reimbursement.

Will acupuncture work with the medications I am on?

Acupuncture has no known interactions with medications. It works safely with western medicine and can even lower the need for certain medications. Sometimes, Chinese Herbal Medicine can have interactions with some drugs. This will be discussed and assessed with great detail to prevent any adverse reactions. Please discuss this further with your acupuncturist if you have any questions.

What are the potential side effects and risks of acupuncture?

Acupuncture can sometimes cause patients to feel light-headed after the treatments, especially on an empty stomach. This is rare and usually subsides in less than five minutes.

Sometimes, symptoms can get slightly worse before getting better. This is actually seen as a positive reaction. Symptoms may be exacerbated the night of the treatment, with great relief the following day.

What do I need to do before my treatments?

It is important to eat and hydrate before every treatment. A light, healthy meal is best.

It is also important to wear loose fitting clothing (exercise clothes, yoga pants, short sleeves). Acupuncture treatments usually utilize points around the knees, elbows, hands, feet, abdomen, and back. We have sheets for draping if points are not accessible with clothing worn.

Are the needles sterilized?

We use single-use, disposable needles. These needles are the diameter of a hair follicle, and they bend freely. Patients usually do not feel the needles.

"Balancing the body is like tuning a
musical instrument: a harmonic display of infinite potential."